Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

What rewards do you deserve for all the good living and the hard work you’ve done since your last birthday? And what amends should you make for the mediocre living and the work you’ve shirked since your last birthday? If you choose this week to take care of these two matters with purposeful clarity, you will ensure the best possible outcomes. The reward you earn will be the right one, and the amends you offer will provide the proper correction.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

Sometimes I fly in my dreams. The ecstasy is almost unbearable as I soar high above the landscape. But there’s something I enjoy dreaming about even more, and that’s running. For years, I’ve had recurring dreams of sprinting for sheer joy through green hills and meadows, often following rivers that go on forever. I’m never short of breath. My legs never get tired. I feel vital and vigorous and fulfilled. Does it seem odd that I prefer running to flying? I think I understand why. The flying dreams represent the part of me that longs to escape the bonds of earth, to be free of the suffering and chaos here. My running dreams, on the other hand, express the part of me that loves being in a body and exults in the challenges of this world. Given your astrological omens, Taurus, I think you’re ready for whatever is your personal equivalent of running in your dreams.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

An interviewer asked me if there’s any special ritual I do before writing these horoscopes. I told her that I often say a prayer in which I affirm my desire to provide you with these three services: 1. that what I create will be of practical use to you; 2. that it will help you cultivate your relationship with your inner teacher; 3. that it will inspire you to tap into and use the substantial freedom you have to create the life you want. I hope I’m doing a good job, Gemini, because in the coming weeks your inner teacher will be overflowing with practical clues about the art of liberation.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

“Spring dawn: Turning toward the storm cloud, I lost sight of the bird.” Let this haiku-like poem by Julius Lester serve as a cautionary tale, Cancerian. You’re at risk of getting so fearfully fixated on a storm cloud that you may lose track, metaphorically speaking, of a rare and beautiful bird. And the thing is, the storm cloud isn’t even harboring that big a ruckus. It will pour out its flash and dazzle quickly, leaving virtually no havoc in its wake. That’s why it would be a shame for you to let your perverse fascination with it cause you to get separated from a potential source of inspiration.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

Shockwaves of toxic misinformation pulse through the Internet on a regular basis. One of the latest infections attacked the subject of astrology. An astronomer in Minneapolis proclaimed that due to the precession of the equinoxes, everyone’s astrological sign is wrong. He was perfectly mistaken, of course, for reasons I explain here: http://bit.ly/AstroHoax. But few journalists in the major media bothered to check the accuracy of the sensationalist allegation before publishing it, and soon the collective imagination was on fire. Hundreds of thousands of people suffered unnecessary identity crises and felt emotions that were based on a fallacy. In the coming week, Leo, you should be on high alert for a comparable outbreak or two in your personal sphere. Be vigorously skeptical — not just toward the stories other people tell, but also toward the theories and fantasies that rise up in your own brain. Don’t believe everything you think.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

You are usually conscientious about attending to the details. It’s one of your specialties to take care of little necessities. You often know what to do in order to fix mistakes and messes caused by the imprecision of other people. For now, though, I encourage you to take a break from all that. In my opinion, you need to regenerate and replenish yourself, and a good way to accomplish that is to let your mind go blissfully blank. At least consider it, please. Give yourself permission to space out about the intricacies. Steep yourself in the primordial ooze where everything is everything.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

I’ll be interested to see how you shift your attitudes about love in the coming weeks, Libra. Fate will be bringing you good reasons to move away from long-held opinions about the nature of romance and intimacy. Your subconscious mind will be stirring with new dispensations about how best to deal with and express your life-giving longings. All in all, the process should be pretty enjoyable, especially if you relish psycho-spiritual riddles that impel you to probe deeper into the mysteries of togetherness.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

“Dear Rob: I am a professional obsesser. I mean I obsess on things a lot. But here’s the thing. When I do obsess on something and work with manic intensity to achieve it, I am changed in the process — frequently to the point of no longer desiring what I was once obsessed by! This makes me crazy! Any advice? — Flagrant Scorpio.” Dear Flagrant: This is a gift, not a problem. Figuring out what you don’t want is a key factor in developing self-knowledge. And often the only way to do that is by pursuing what you think you want. Ultimately, you’ll be purged of your lesser longings and superficial wishes and be able to crystallize a clear vision of what you truly desire more than anything else.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in such a way that will allow a solution,” said philosopher Bertrand Russell. In other words, the words you use to describe your dilemma are crucial. If you’re lazy or pessimistic about framing your big question, you minimize your chances for finding a useful answer. If you’re precise and creative, you’re more likely to attract the information and inspiration you need. This is always true, of course, but especially so for you right now.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

A “karma whore” is someone who performs an abundant number of favors and acts of kindness in the hope of accumulating extra good karma. Judging from the astrological omens, I’m thinking this week will be prime time for you to flirt with being such a person. Why? Because the blessings you bestow in the near future are more likely than usual to generate specific blessings coming back your way. You don’t necessarily have to go to ridiculous extremes — holding the door open for five people behind you, allowing ten cars to merge in front of you on the highway, flinging out casual but sincere compliments with reckless abandon. But from what I can tell, the more help you dole out, the more you’ll get in return.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You may have no idea of how much power you have right now to start fresh — to escape the muddle of murky old failures. Your imagination might not yet be sufficiently lubricated to glide you into the expansive version of the future you deserve. But I’m hoping that this little horoscope of mine changes all that. I’m praying that you are already registering the pleasant shock I’m trying to jolt you with, and are awakening to the rampant possibilities. On your mark. Get set. Go!

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

I’ve never been a fan of gurus. My view is that everyone should be his or her own guru. But there was one guy whose antics were pretty entertaining. He was one of those crazy wisdom types who borrowed liberally from the trickster archetype. This is what he told his followers about how to interpret their dreams in which he appeared. “If you dream of me and I’m not kicking your butt, it wasn’t really me.” I’ll say the same thing to you, Pisces: The only teachers worth listening to, studying and dreaming about in the next two weeks will be those who kick your butt.

Homework: To read my response to the Internet rumor that astrology is based on wrong assumptions, go here: http://bit.ly/AstroHoax.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

The age-old question comes up for review once again: Which should predominate, independence or interdependence? The answer is always different, of course, depending on the tenor of the time and the phase of your evolution. But in the coming weeks, at least, my view is that you should put more emphasis on interdependence. I think you’ll reap huge benefits from wholeheartedly blending your energies with allies whose power and intelligence match yours.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

I find many of you Tauruses to be excessively self-effacing. It’s a trait that can be both endearing and maddening. Even as my heart melts in the presence of Bulls who are underestimating their own beauty, I may also feel like grabbing them by the shoulders and shaking some confidence into them, barraging them with frustrated exhortations like “Believe in yourself as much as I believe in you, for God’s sake!” But I’m guessing I won’t be tempted to do that anytime soon. You appear to be due for a big influx of self-esteem.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

It will be a good week to let your mind go utterly blank while slouching in front of a TV and sipping warm milk, or to spend hours curled up in a ball under the covers on your bed as you berate yourself with guilty insults for the mistakes you’ve made in your life. NOT! I’m kidding! Please don’t you dare do anything like that. It would be a terrible waste of the rowdy astrological omens that are coming to bear on you. Here are some better ideas: Go seek the fire on the mountain! Create a secret in the sanctuary! Learn a trick in the dark! Find a new emotion in the wilderness! Study the wisest, wildest people you know so that you, too, can be wildly wise!

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

This would be an excellent week to grieve madly and deeply about the old love affairs that shattered your heart. I’ve rarely seen a better astrological configuration than there is now for purging the residual anguish from those old romantic collapses. So I suggest you conduct a formal ritual that will provide total exorcism and bring you maximum catharsis. Maybe you could build a shrine containing the photos and objects that keep a part of you stuck in the past, and maybe you could find the bold words and innovative gestures that will bid goodbye to them forever. Do you have any intuitions about how to create a rousing healing ceremony?

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

The History cable TV channel has a reality TV show called “Ice Road Truckers.” It documents the exploits of drivers who haul heavy loads in their 18-wheelers for long distances across frozen rivers and lakes and swamps in Alaska and northwest Canada. They bring supplies to remote outposts where humans work exotic jobs like mining diamonds and drilling for natural gas. If you have any truck-driving skills, Leo, you’d be a good candidate to apply for a gig on the show. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, your levels of courage and adventurousness will be at an all-time high in 2011. May I suggest, though, that you try to make your romps in the frontier more purely pleasurable than what the ice road truckers have to endure?

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Pop chanteuse Katy Perry is renowned not only for her singing ability but also for her physical appearance. Her preternatural ability to sell her musical products can be attributed in part to her sparkling good looks and charisma. That’s why it was amusing when her husband, the trickster Russell Brand, Twittered a raw photo of her that he took as she lifted her head off the pillow, awakening from a night of sleep. (See it at tinyurl.com/RealKaty.) Without her makeup, Katy’s visage was spectacularly ordinary. Not ugly, just plain. In accordance with the astrological omens, Virgo, I urge you to do what Russell Brand did: expose the reality that lies beneath and behind the glamorous illusion, either in yourself or anywhere else you find a need.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

While I was growing up, I was taught to regard my analytical mind as a supreme tool for understanding reality. I’ve never stopped believing that. However, I eventually realized I had to add the following corollaries if I wanted to thrive: 1. My imagination and intuition are as essential to my success as my analytical mind; 2. I need to regularly express my playful, creative urges, and that requires me to sometimes transcend my analytical mind; 3. to maintain my emotional well-being, I have to work with my dreams, which occur in a realm where the analytical mind is not lord and king. Does any of this ring true for you, Libra? Now is an excellent time to cultivate other modes of intelligence besides your analytical mind.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

If you’re planning on spending any time hibernating during the next few months, this would be an excellent time to do it. Your reaction time is slowing down, which is a very healthy thing. Meanwhile, your allergy to civilization is acting up, your head is too full of thoughts you don’t need, and your heart craves a break from the subtle sorrows and trivial tussles of daily life. So go find some sweet silence to hide inside, Scorpio. Treat yourself to a slow-motion glide through the eternal point of view.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“Dear Rob: All my life I’ve been passionate about the big picture — learning how the universe works, meditating on why things are the way they are, and probing the invisible forces working behind the scenes. Too often, though, I’m so enamored of these expansive concepts that I neglect to pay enough humble attention to myself. It’s embarrassing. Loving the infinite, I scrimp on taking care of the finite. Any advice? — Larger Than Life Sagittarian.” Dear Larger: You’re in luck! Members of the Sagittarian tribe have entered a phase when they can make up for their previous neglect of life-nourishing details. In the coming weeks, I bet you’ll find it as fun and interesting to attend to your own little needs as you normally do to understanding the mysteries of the cosmos.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

All the most credible studies say that the crime rate is steadily decreasing, and yet three out of every four people believe it’s rising. What conclusions can we draw from this curious discrepancy? Here’s one: The majority of the population is predisposed toward pessimism. In my astrological opinion, Capricorn, you can’t afford to be victimized by this mass psychosis. If you are, it will interfere with and probably even stunt the good fortune headed your way. I’m not asking you to be absurdly optimistic. Just try to root out any tendencies you might have to be absurdly gloomy.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

In the early 20th century, many women at the beach covered most of their bodies with swimsuits made of wool. If they went in the water, they’d emerge about 20 pounds heavier. Swimming was a challenge. Your current psychic state has resemblances to what you’d feel like if you were wearing drenched woolen underwear and a drenched woolen clown suit and a drenched woolen robe. My advice? Take it off; take it all off. The astrological omens are clear: Whatever your reasons were for being in this get-up in the first place, they are no longer valid.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

In comedian Sarah Silverman’s memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, she confesses that she was still wetting her bed at age 19. Depression was a constant companion throughout adolescence, and she took a lot of Xanax. Yet somehow she grew into such a formidable adult that she was able to corral God himself to write the afterword for her book. How did she manage that? “This is so trite,” she told Publishers Weekly, “but . . . sex.” I predict that a comparable reversal of fortune is ahead for you, Pisces. Some part of your past will be redeemed, quite possibly with the sexy help of a divine ally.

Homework: Look in the mirror and tell yourself an edgy but fun truth you’ve never spoken. If you care to share, write Truthrooster@gmail.com.

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

What empire are you building, Aries? What master plan are you in the midst of carrying out? As you gaze out upon your realm, are you content with the way it’s evolving? Judging from the current astrological omens, I’d say it’s an excellent time to ponder questions like those. And if your inventory reveals that you’re missing some pieces of the big picture’s puzzle, I suggest you set out on a quest to locate them.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

In a famous psychology experiment, test subjects watched a video of six people passing basketballs to each other. Their assignment was to count how many passes were thrown and caught by the three people wearing white shirts, while ignoring passes between the three wearing black shirts. But there was a trick embedded in the exercise. Midway through the video, a person wearing a gorilla suit ambled into the scene, thumped his chest, and quickly departed. Half of the test subjects did not notice this intrusion. They were too focused on the task of counting the passes made by the players in white. (Watch it here: tinyurl.com/TrickGorilla.) In the coming week, Taurus, I expect that you will experience at least one similar trick. Look for the unexpected.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

Astrologer Hunter Reynolds says that when you are at your best, you Geminis specialize in “enlightened impatience.” You don’t get trapped expressing polite deference in situations that drain your energy. You don’t tolerate boring experiences just because they’re supposed to be good for you. You’d rather “err on the side of learning-through-too-much-movement” than get bogged down in “principled sluggishness.” But while that’s how you are when you’re at your peak, you can also be susceptible to the dark side of this talent. Sometimes you abort a potential breakthrough by prematurely fleeing a useful but difficult scene. I suspect you may be prone to that kind of behavior right now. My advice: Be skeptical of your escape reflex.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

In her poem “Heathen,” Lesley Wheeler describes a young boy who puts his ear up against his mother’s ear “so that the god in your head can talk / to the god in mine.” The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to try something similar with people you care for. It’s a ripe moment to raise the stakes in your intimate life . . . to get closer than you’ve dared to get before . . . to retire the familiar stories you and your allies are in the habit of exchanging so that you can tune in to the deeper hum of each other’s wilder truths.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

There’s a guy on the Internet — calls himself Tian — whose mission is to correct Westerners who misunderstand and misuse Chinese characters. Many of the people who write to him for advice are Americans who have come to suspect that the Chinese characters they got tattooed on their flesh don’t really mean what they were led to believe (bit.ly/WrongTat). For example, Tian informed one person that a tattoo whose character supposedly says “to learn as much as possible” actually means “empty, hollow, bare, deserted.” I offer this up as a cautionary tale, Leo. In the coming days, make sure you’re not under a misapprehension about what you’re taking on and taking in. Choose only the very best imprints — and verify that they are what you think they are.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

I regard 2011 as an excellent time for you to cultivate your unique talents, some of which may still be latent or undiscovered. With that in mind, consider these thoughts. Ernest Hemingway said a person had to have “the guts of a burglar” to develop his or her talent. Neurologist and author Dr. Alice W. Flaherty believes that the drive to use one’s talent is even more important than the amount of raw talent one has. And here’s novelist Erica Jong: “Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that ‘talent’ to the dark place where it leads.” P.S. If you do venture into those dark places, you’ll eventually uncover ten suns’ worth of illumination.

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Back in 1962, an American company named Corning created a product that was so revolutionary, no one could figure out how to exploit it in practical ways. It was Gorilla Glass, a glass that’s so strong it’s almost impossible to break or even scratch. Only recently has it found a commercial application, first in cell phones and other mobile devices and next in a new generation of ultrathin TV screens. I foresee a comparable development in your immediate future, Libra: some ahead-of-its-time breakthrough you made a while ago that can finally be used to improve your life.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

When I arrived at my acupuncturist’s waiting room, there were just two magazines on the table next to my chair: The celebrity rag People Style Weekly and the spiritually oriented Shambala Sun. The first offered articles on “hot new handbags and shoes under $99” and “easy ways to get gorgeous hair, skin, and nails.” The second provided a “guide to mindful living,” with advice about how to get centered, focused and relaxed. I thought that was metaphorically similar to the choice you will face in the coming week, Scorpio. It’s up to you: Which way do you want to go?

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

I can almost categorically guarantee that in 2011 you will have no encounters with fire demons, wart-ridden vampires, two-headed dogs, moaning ghosts, wayward werewolves or extraterrestrial robots. Nope. You can pretty much go ahead and make plans based on the assumption that you won’t have to account for intrusions like that. But I can also assure you that the lack of crazy encounters with unhinged monsters does not mean your life will suffer from blahs or boredom. On the contrary, I think this could be one of your most interesting years in a decade. To prepare yourself, make sure you don’t unconsciously equate adventure with chaos; imagine what it would be like to experience mystery and intrigue that uplift you.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past,” said comedian Lily Tomlin. I recommend that you make this a keynote during the next six months. According to my understanding of the astrological omens, you will have the best opportunity you’ve had in a long time to put some of your unsettling memories to sleep for good. This is your big chance to graduate from old anxieties that can never be resolved. You’re finally ready to declare your independence from messy burdens and maddening riddles that have haunted you.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

If you want to be healed, whether from a physical malady or a psychic wound, there’s one prerequisite you have to meet: You have to be willing to learn a lesson that your suffering has invited you to study. I would go so far as to say that no one, no matter how skilled a healer, can help cure you until you have taken that first step. So what teaching is it that you would need to explore in order to transform your distress into wisdom?

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

Are you ready to get the fun surprise you were promised in your dreams? Are you fully prepared to collect the elegant prize you were guaranteed before you were born? I don’t think you are — mostly because you’re not thoroughly convinced that you deserve these wonders. From what I can tell, your self-doubts are still more substantial than your self-worth. And as long as that holds true, you will continue to hold your just rewards at bay. So let’s make it your project in the next three weeks to elevate your levels of self-worth. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to completely shed your self-doubts, so don’t worry about trying to pull off that impossible project. All you need to do is adjust your self-worth to self-doubt ratio so it’s at least 51 percent to 49 percent.

Homework: All of us are trying to wake up from our sleepy delusions about the nature of life. What will be your most potent wake-up technique in 2011? Go to Freewillastrology.com and click “Email Rob.”

Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

ARIES
(March 21-April 19)

“A man may fulfill the object of his existence by asking a question he cannot answer, and attempting a task he cannot achieve,” mused 19th-century author Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. Advice that wild could just as well have been dispensed by a feral saint living in a cave in the woods. And now I’m passing it on to you, Aries, just in time for the beginning of what may be your wildest year in a decade. In my astrological opinion, you are ready to be a connoisseur of mysteries that purify the mind and nurture the soul . . . a daredevil of the spirit in quest of seemingly impossible dreams . . . a fierce adept of the wisdom of uncertainty who’s in love with unpredictable teachings.

TAURUS
(April 20-May 20)

What confusing commotion would you like to walk away from and never come back to? What lessons have you learned so well that you’re overdue to graduate from them? What long-term healing process would you like to finish up so you can finally get started on the building phase that your healing will give you the power to carry out? These are excellent questions to ask yourself as you plan your life in the next six months.

GEMINI
(May 21-June 20)

The Strait of Gibralter is the narrow passage between Europe and Africa where the Mediterranean Sea joins the Atlantic Ocean. According to legend, in ancient times the Latin phrase “ne plus ultra” was inscribed in the rock overlooking this gateway. It meant “not further beyond” and served as a warning to sailors not to venture out to the wild waters past the strait. Eventually, that cautionary advice became irrelevant, of course. With a sturdy vessel, skilled crew, good preparation and expert knowledge based on the experience of others, venturing out past the “ne plus ultra” point wasn’t dangerous. I hope you’ll take that as your cue in 2011, Gemini.

CANCER
(June 21-July 22)

There were problems with the soccer balls used in the World Cup last year. Many players felt they were difficult to control. Their trajectory was unpredictable. Brazilian forward Luis Fabiano went so far as to say that the ball “doesn’t want to be kicked.” Other players said the balls were poorly made, like those “you buy in a supermarket.” I bring this to your attention as a cautionary metaphor, Cancerian. In 2011 you will be taking part in your equivalent of the World Cup. It will be crucial to have the very best tools and accessories. You can’t afford to play with balls that don’t respond accurately to your skillful means.

LEO
(July 23-Aug. 22)

Biological diversity refers to the variety of life forms in any particular area, while cultural diversity measures the richness of social forms of expression. Then there’s biocultural diversity, which measures both together. Can you guess the places on the planet where biocultural diversity is highest? They’re Indonesia, Malaysia, Melanesia, the Amazon Basin and Central Africa. I would love it if you had a chance to immerse yourself in environments like those in 2011, Leo. If you can’t manage that, find the next best thing. You will thrive by exposi  ng yourself to a kaleidoscopic mix of human types and natural influences.

VIRGO
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

When I started my rock band World Entertainment War, I was guided by a vision of us having two lead singers, me and another person. Ultimately, I chose a woman named Darby Gould as my collaborator. While I have decent skills as a vocalist, her talent is genius-level. I knew that our work together would push me to be at the top of my game and allow me to write ambitious songs that I didn’t have the chops to sing by myself. I’ve always been pleased with how that strategy worked. Would you consider giving yourself a similar challenge in 2011, Virgo? It’ll be the Year of Collaboration for you. Why not put yourself in a position to transcend the limitations you have when operating solely under your own power?

LIBRA
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Africa is cracking open in preparation for the birth of a new ocean. The whole process will take 10 million years, but the first sign occurred in 2005, when a 37-mile-long fissure appeared in Ethiopia. Eventually, say geologists, the rift will grow enormous and fill up with seawater. I expect a metaphorically comparable development for you in 2011, Libra: the subtle yet monumental beginning of a new “ocean” you’ll be enjoying and learning from and dealing with for many years to come.

SCORPIO
(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

In 1967, the U.S. had 31,225 nuclear warheads. But by 2010, it had a mere 5,113. The world’s most militarized nation hopes to scale down to an even more modest 3,000 or so by 2021. In the coming year, Scorpio, I’d love to see you be inspired by that example to begin reducing your own levels of anger and combativeness. You don’t have to do away entirely with your ability to fight everyone who doesn’t agree with you and everything you don’t like; just cut back some. I’m sure that’ll still leave you with plenty of firepower.

SAGITTARIUS
(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

“The heart is forever inexperienced,” said Thoreau. He believed our feeling nature is eternally innocent; that no matter how much we learn about the game of life, sadness or lust or rage or joy hits us as hard the thousandth time as it did in the beginning. But is that really true? Are you as likely to plunge into mind-exploding infatuation with your fourth lover as you were with your first? Are you as susceptible now to having your world turned upside-down by flash floods of emotion as you were at age 15? Over the years, haven’t you acquired wisdom about your reactive tendencies, and hasn’t that transformed them? I disagree with Thoreau. I say that for the person who wants to cultivate emotional intelligence, the heart sure as hell better be capable of gaining experience. What do you think, Sagittarius? If you’re aligned with my view, 2011 will educate and ripen your heart as never before.

CAPRICORN
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

“We have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home,” wrote novelist Herman Hesse. “And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is homesickness.” That’s the bad news, Capricorn. The good news, according to my analysis, is that 2011 could very well be the year that your homesickness drives you all the way home. For best results, keep this tip in mind: To get the full benefit of the homesickness, you shouldn’t suppress it. Only by feeling it deeply, as a burning, grinding ache, will you be able to ride it all the way home.

AQUARIUS
(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

In the past, few dog shows allowed mutts to compete. Pure breeds were prized above all others. That’s changing, though, now that the American Kennel Club has opened up a new category just for mongrels. They won’t be judged by guidelines specific to a particular breed, but rather according to their natural talents. This shift in standards mirrors a comparable development in your world, Aquarius. In 2011, it’ll be easier to find success simply by being your mottled, speckled, variegated self. There’ll be less pressure for you to live up to standards of perfection meant for the pure breeds.

PISCES
(Feb. 19-March 20)

“All your longings know where to go,” writes poet Nick Piombino, “but you have to tell them to open their eyes.” That’s one of your big assignments in 2010, Pisces: to make sure your longings keep their eyes open. It’s not as easy as it might sound. Sometimes your longings get so entranced by obsessive fantasies — so distracted by the stories that are swirling around in your imagination — that they’re blind to what’s right in front of them. You must speak to your longings tenderly and patiently, as you would a beloved animal, coaxing them to trust that life will bring more interesting and useful blessings than anything fantasy could provide.

Homework: Send me a list of your top five New Year’s resolutions. Go to RealAstrology.com and click on “Email Rob.”

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